Friday 5 April 2013

Marine Spider

Image: _liana
Marine! Spider?


Have the world's oceans succumbed to the unstoppable march of the arachnids? Do they seek to take their rightful place as the first thing you think about when you hear the word "Octopod"? Are the so-called Sea Spiders quaking in their overly long boots as the Arachnid Army wage war to seize their title?

Image: _liana
Not really, no.

Unlike Sea Spiders, the Marine Spider really is a proper, actual spider. But it isn't really marine. It doesn't swim through the sea or walk on the ocean floor. It can just about scamper across the water's surface, but that's about it. At least when it comes to being active...

Marine Spiders are primarily nocturnal and do all their work at low tide. When the water level rises, they seek out a hidey-hole and use their silk to seal it up against the flood. Now they can relax, keep dry and breathe air. Hey, that's just like me! Once the water subsides, they can leave their hovel and start the killing. Hey, that's just like... no comment.

Image: budak
Desis martensi
Marine Spiders are a dozen or so species in the genus Desis. They can be found in parts of Africa, Asia and Australasia and are part of an entire family of intertidal spiders, but none seem to put quite so much effort into having really massive jaws.

Image: micamonkey
These are still really small spiders so their diet is comprised of tiny insects and shrimp. But one mustn't be complacent. They are quite literally testing the waters. The aquatic invasion soon comes...